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With Less Than One Day Until His Scheduled Deportation, Jesus Lara, his Family, Legal Team, & Neighbors Work and Pray for Reprieve

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A recording of today’s event is available here

Willard, OH – Ahead of Jesus Lara Lopez’ scheduled deportation tomorrow, his sons and legal team joined community and faith leaders to provide an update on his case and share a letter from local faith leaders supporting an end to this deportation nightmare.

The solution is clear: the government can renew Jesus’ stay, as they have done every year for the past five years, and allow him to continue working, contributing, and raising his family. A recording of today’s event is available here.  The faith leaders sign-on letter, organized by Faith in Public Life, is available here.

Jesus Lara Lopez, said:

I want to ask people to keep supporting me and my family. I am not a criminal, I’m a father, and all I want to do is keep fighting for my family so that we can go forward together. God said that we shouldn’t separate families, but Man is the one doing it. I came here for a better life, and President Trump is killing my dreams.

Edwin Lara, Jesus’ 11 year-old son, said, “I’ve been fighting for my dad, because we need him right now. My brothers, sister and I are too little to be without him.”

Anuar Lara, Jesus’ 9 year-old son, said, “I want the government to help my dad. Tomorrow is his flight, and I don’t want him to walk out the door.”

David Leopold, Jesus’ attorney and former AILA president, said:

The Supreme Court has recognized that Secretary Kelly, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and ICE Director Rebecca Adducci have the discretion to defer deportations, including the power to grant stays of removals for immigrants like Jesus Lara. If ever there was a person deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion, and a family crying out for justice, it is Jesus Lara Lopez and his four U.S. citizen children. Yet, Mr. Lara Lopez’s deportation is drawing near and we’re running out of time. Last Thursday, we filed another stay request. The active intervention of Senator Portman and Rep. Gibbs active assistance is critical at this juncture.  As Ohio Republicans, they are uniquely able to reach out to DHS Secretary John Kelly and implore him to stop the injustice of tearing apart yet another Ohio family. 

Dustin White, a pastor in Canton and Ashland with the Brethren Church, said:

As pastor, I believe that family is sacred. A law that needlessly rips hard working parents from their children is unjust. Jesus Lara’s children need their father at home. We cannot just accept these laws. Now is the time for Senator Portman and Representative Gibbs to join the community of faith as advocates of this family. We ask that they see Jesus as their father, brother, friend, and neighbor. This is the final hour for Senator Portman and Representative Gibbs to show moral courage once and for all.

Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice; Director of Ohio’s Voice; friend of the Lara family, said:

Time is short for Jesus Lara and his family. Jesus’ case has captured national, statewide, and local attention for a number of reasons. He has done nothing wrong – he has attended annual meetings with ICE, renewed his work permit, paid taxes, purchased a home, and supported his four U.S. citizen children. Then, in March, the rug was pulled out from under him and his family. Jesus’ children have played a vital, leadership role in advocating for their father to stay with them. They’ve traveled to DC to meet with congressional offices; started a national petition that garnered 35,000 signatures; canvassed their community to sign up neighbors and strangers to support their dad; and done everything in their power to get Rep. Gibbs and Senators Portman to become champions for their family.

A recording of today’s event is available here.  The faith leaders sign-on letter, organized by Faith in Public Life, is available here.  A round-up of recent media coverage is available below.

  • “Days Before His Deportation, Jesus Manuel Lara Lopez Can Only Pray,” WOSU7/17/17
  • “Rep. Gibbs in Spotlight on Jesus Lara Deportation Case,” Medium, 7/16/17
  • “God will stop deportation,” Sandusky Register, 7/16/17
  • “Reader say God won’t help,” Sandusky Register,7/16/17
  • “Immigration Q&A: Why can’t undocumented immigrants just ‘get in line,’” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/16/17
  • “With the clock ticking, advocates continue fight to stop deportation of Ohio dad,” DailyKos, 7/16/17
  • “Congressman wants deportation order rescinded,”Sandusky Register, 7/15/17
  • “Rep. Dave Joyce must help build a sound immigration policy: editorial,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/15/17
  • “Attorney: This is how the government can save the Lara family,” Norwalk Reflector, 7/14/17
  • “Undocumented immigrant fights deportation to stay with four children,” WFMJ-Youngstown, 7/14/17
  • “Ohio family counting the hours to deportation,”Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/14/17
  • “Undocumented father in Ohio facing deportation pleads with ICE: ‘My children need me,’” Univision,7/14/17
  • “‘Trump destruyó mis sueños’, dice mexicano en vísperas de su deportación,” La Opinión, 7/14/17
  • “No deporten a nuestro padre,” Washington Hispanic, 7/14/17